I've taken PB&J for granted for too long. It's just so basic in my mind that I forget it's a novel treat for Japanese.
For September's culture class, we taught about school culture: lunch ladies, "A+"s, jungle gyms, detention, etc... But the highlight of the day was teaching these housewives how to make "American box lunches."
We scrounged supplies from various stores around the neighborhood to make a quintessential "cold lunch." PB&J, carrot coins, goldfish crackers, chocolate chip cookies, and a juice box.
|Not nearly as pretty as Japanese boxed lunches, but it tastes like home and that's all that matters.|
The reaction was one of surprise, confusion, and delight. When I asked what they thought of the lunch both women agreed it was "mezarashi" (new, novel, strange, unusual). Never before had the ladies eaten peanut-butter AND jelly together on a sandwich; only one or the other. The carrots also were met with skepticism. Although they ate them, I think it was out of politeness. Perhaps raw carrots for a snack take some getting used to.
Over all the box lunch was a hit. One student bagged up her leftovers to share with her daughter.